Friday, August 13, 2010

Revision on Tranquility on Calico Creek

Tranquility on Calico Creek-12x16

this one came back to me for the second time from galleries so i set it out where i could see it every day for months. i've got pegboard holders where i can set about a dozen paintings in the area that a couch might take up.
look at the painting youre revising with plenty of objectivity. look at it in the cold hard light of day. you'll be surprised what you can see once youre not so invested in the painting. fix brushwork, weak colors, things that stick out or dont stick out enough. make boring shapes interesting, give shapes that are plain some variety. if you paint outside enough, you'll know just how stuff should look. dont be afraid to make changes. take a picture of it so you can fix something if you dont like the change.
so here's what i did to the painting (i'll do it in bullets)
*made the water bluer. it was too grayish blue and weak
*changed the grass where it doesnt look like two rows of green and made it more random like nature. this was done plein air and i remember struggling with grass back then. after a few years i've got a better grip on how to meake the grass look real
*put some darker cooler color on the front half of the side of the boat making a larger shape have more color change than the old one
* covered over alot of the house on the left. it was too prominent. i used to put everything in a painting i saw. now i know i can edit stuff out, move a tree here, or take it away etc. makes better paintings
*simplified the tree shadows and added purple into the land mass way in the distance to push it way back. gives it more atmospheric perspective. the purple cools and grays the green.
*added more blues the same value in the sky for variety and changed the shadow color of the clouds and punched up the light side with warm white
*worked on the cloud reflection in the water. its a little darker like in reality
and * took out the pole in the water. if you dont need an object to tell the story then absolutely leave it out. i used to put everything i saw in my paintings. shoot i had enough stuff in one painting for three!

i love to see how other painters "fix" their duds so i hope you get something out of this lesson. now hopefully i wont get it back from the next gallery i send it to and will be on somebody's wall!


DGehman said...

So - are you saying that the more direct the story (or maybe, simpler, less distracted), the more likely a painting will find a home?

I found this a great tutorial, having seen nothing in the original that triggered any sense of this or that needing enhancement.

Tech question: since the painting has had several years to dry, how did you prepare the surface for repainting?

Klinger Studios said...

Even though I liked the original, I see how the second is a vast improvement. Thanks for the lesson, coach.

Carol Schiff Daily Painting said...

Thanks Mike, This is a great post, so informative. It's nice to know that the pro's have problems sometimes too.

DGehman said...

Don't know if you go back over older posts, Mike, but this inquiring mind is still wondering how you prepped your old support for new revisions...

mike rooney studios said...

dave-sometimes i check back over old posts but not often
i just painted right over the old painting thinly.the underlying paint was dry for over a year.

anne h ward said...

Great tutorial.....Mike, Your work is fabulous. Great strides. Congrats on your upcoming October show. Miss seeing you...understand you painted with some coharts in past couple of weeks. Hope we meet up soon now that weather has cooled enough for me to get ouside.